Peer support, self-determination, and treatment engagement: a qualitative investigation

Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2013 Sep;36(3):209-14. doi: 10.1037/prj0000008. Epub 2013 Jul 1.


Objective: To address gaps in the literature concerning the relationships among participation in peer-led mental health programs, the development of self-determination in service use, and medication use and engagement with medication prescribers and other traditional providers, we conducted focus groups with individuals involved in Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) programs.

Method: We carried out five focus groups with 54 WRAP participants and/or facilitators, and analyzed transcripts using a grounded theory approach.

Results: Emergent themes revealed differences of opinion regarding the role and value of medication adherence, broad agreement on the benefits of WRAP in increasing self-determination and self-awareness, and positive effects of participation on patient self-advocacy, medication-related decision-making and meaningful engagement with traditional providers.

Conclusions and implications for practice: Findings emphasize the importance of examining the influence of stand-alone peer-led program involvement on relationships with traditional providers and decisions regarding medication use, as well as the heterogeneity of consumer treatment values, choices, and associated outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Peer Group*
  • Personal Autonomy*
  • Power, Psychological
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Support*